Despite the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Minister's appeal to keep the protests symbolic, the private hospitals in the state were shut for all out-patient department and non-essential health services on Monday, June 17. Shivanand S Patil had on Sunday appealed to the doctors in the state to limit their protest and not cause any obstruction to patient services.
The minister had said that he was in support of the doctors and was empathetic to their situation. He said that it is the duty of the government to ensure the safety of the doctors and that they should not face any trouble while discharging their duties.
The nationwide strike was called by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in the wake of the recent attack on two junior doctors at Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, West Bengal by the patient's family members on June 10.
"All non-essential services including OPDs will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6 am to 6 am the next day. All emergency and casualty services will continue to function," said the statement issued by IMA. However, the government hospitals in the state will continue its services and will function without any halt.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has also requested the doctors to ensure a peaceful strike. "Assault on anyone is unacceptable. I condemn the attack on the doctors and request the doctors on strike today to ensure that their protest is peaceful and does not cause any problems to the patients," read his tweet.
According to the reports, more than 15,000 hospitals in the state are taking part in the nationwide strike and thousands of doctors will also join the silent protests. The most affected patients in Bengaluru are from the National Institue of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), where a large number of people have lined up for health services despite the nationwide protest. A large chunk of these people has come from other states for treatment.
While most of the private hospitals in Bengaluru have supported IMA's nationwide strike, several hospitals have disregarded the solidarity protest by the medical fraternity by not shutting their medical services.